The Royal Fusiliers

Also known as the City of London Regiment, the Royal Fusiliers raised no fewer than 47 battalions for service in the Great War. This makes it the fifth largest after the London Regiment, Northumberland Fusiliers, Middlesex Regiment and King's (Liverpool Regiment).

Battalions of the Regular Army

1st Battalion
August 1914 : in Kinsale. Under command of 17th Brigade, 6th Division. Landed at St Nazaire in September 1914.

2nd Battalion
August 1914 : in Calcutta in India.
Returned to England in December 1914. Joined 86th Brigade, 29th Division.
Sailed in March 1915 and landed Gallipoli 25 April 1915. Evacuated to Egypt January 1916.
Landed at Marseilles March 1916.

3rd Battalion
August 1914 : in Lucknow in India.
Returned to England December 1914. Joined 85th Brigade, 28th Division.
Landed at Le Havre mid January 1915. Moved to Egypt October 1915 and thence to Salonika.
July 1918 : left Brigade and moved to France. Joined 149th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

4th Battalion
August 1914 : in Parkhurst (Isle of Wight). Under command of 9th Brigade, 3rd Division.
Landed at Le Havre 13 August 1914.

5th and 6th (Reserve) Battalions
August 1914 : in Hounslow. Training units, they remained in UK throughout the war.
Moved to Dover in August 1914; 6th went to Carrickfergus in late 1917.

7th (Extra Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : in Artillery Place, Finsbury.
Landed at Le Havre 24 July 1916.
27 July 1916 : joined the 190th Brigade, 63rd (Royal Naval) Division.

Battalions of the Territorial Force

The Royal Fusiliers did not form any battalions for the TF, but a number of the units of the London Regiment, an all-TF regiment, were affiliated to it.

Battalions of the New Armies

8th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Hounslow on 21 August 1914 as part of K1 and came under command of 36th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division.
Landed in France in May 1915.
Disbanded in France 6 February 1918.

9th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Hounslow on 21 August 1914 as part of K1 and came under command of 36th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division.
Landed in France in May 1915.

10th (Service) Battalion
Formed in City of London in August 1914 as part of K2, although it was a locally raised battalion, not under the control of the War Office - and had the unofficial title of the Stockbrokers.
September 1914 : came under command of 54th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division.
October 1914 : left Brigade and became Army Troops in same Division.
March 1915 : transferred to 111th Brigade, 37th Division.
Landed at Boulogne 30 July 1915.

11th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Hounslow on 6 September 1914 as part of K2 and came under command of 54th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division.
Landed at Boulogne in July 1915.

12th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Hounslow in September 1914 as part of K3 and came under command of 73rd Brigade, 24th Division.
Landed in France 1 September 1915.
17 October 1915 : transferred to 17th Brigade in same Division.
13 February 1918 : disbanded in France, with personnel dispersed to 1st, 10th and 11th Battalions.

13th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Hounslow on 13 September 1914 as part of K3 and attached as Army Troops to 24th Division.
March 1915 : came under command of 111th Brigade in 37th Division.
Landed at Boulogne on 30 July 1915.

14th and 15th (Reserve) Battalions
Formed in Dover in October 1914 as Service battalions, part of K4.
November 1914 : came under command of 95th Brigade, original 32nd Division.
10 April 1915 : became a Reserve battalion.
1 September 1916 : converted into 31st and 32nd Training Reserve Battalions in 7th Reserve Brigade.

16th (Reserve) Battalion
Formed in Falmouth in October 1914 as a Service battalion, part of K4.
November 1914 : came under command of 103rd Brigade, original 34th Division.
10 April 1915 : became a Reserve battalion.
1 September 1916 : converted into 22nd Training Reserve Battalion in 5th Reserve Brigade.

17th (Service) Battalion (Empire)
Formed in London on 31 August 1914 by the British Empire Committee.
26 June 1915 : came under command of 99th Brigade, 33rd Division.
Landed in France on 17 November 1915.
25 November 1915 : transferred with the Brigade to 2nd Division.
13 December 1915 : transferred to 5th Brigade, 2nd Division.
6 February 1918 : transferred to 6th Brigade in same Division.

18th (Service) Battalion (1st Public Schools)
Formed at Epsom on 11 September 1914 by the Public Schools and University Men's Force.
26 June 1915 : came under command of 98th Brigade, 33rd Division.
Landed in France in November 1915.
27 November 1915 : transferred to 19th Brigade, 33rd Division.
26 February 1916 : transferred to GHQ; disbanded on 24 April 1916 with many of the men being commissioned as officers.

19th (Service) Battalion (2nd Public Schools)
Formed at Epsom on 11 September 1914 by the Public Schools and University Men's Force.
26 June 1915 : came under command of 98th Brigade, 33rd Division.
Landed in France in November 1915.
27 February 1916 : transferred to GHQ; disbanded on 24 April 1916 with many of the men being commissioned as officers.

20th (Service) Battalion (3rd Public Schools)
Formed at Epsom on 11 September 1914 by the Public Schools and University Men's Force.
26 June 1915 :came under command of 98th Brigade, 33rd Division.
Landed in France in November 1915.
27 November 1915 : transferred to 19th Brigade, 33rd Division.
16 February 1918 : disbanded in France.

21st (Service) Battalion (4th Public Schools)
Formed at Epsom on 11 September 1914 by the Public Schools and University Men's Force.
26 June 1915 : came under command of 98th Brigade, 33rd Division.
Landed in France in November 1915.
27 February 1916 : transferred to GHQ; disbanded on 24 April 1916 with many of the men being commissioned as officers.

22nd (Service) Battalion (Kensington)
Formed at White City, 11 September 1914, by the Mayor and Borough of Kensington.
June 1915 : came under command of 99th Brigade, 33rd Division.
Landed at Boulogne in November 1915.
25 November 1915 : transferred with Brigade to 2nd Division.
3 February 1918 : disbanded in France.

23rd (Service) Battalion (1st Sportsman's)
Formed at the Hotel Cecil in the Strand, London, on 25 September 1914 by Mrs E.Cunliffe-Owen. Initially known as the "Hard as Nails Battalion". Moved to Hornchurch in Essex.
June 1915 : came under command of 99th Brigade, 33rd Division.
Landed at Boulogne in November 1915.
25 November 1915 : transferred with Brigade to 2nd Division.

24th (Service) Battalion (2nd Sportsman's)
Formed in London on 20 November 1914 by Mrs E.Cunliffe-Owen.
March 1915: moved to Hornchurch.
June 1915 : came under command of 99th Brigade, 33rd Division.
Landed at Boulogne in November 1915.
13 December 1915 : transferred to 5th Brigade in 2nd Division.

25th (Service) Battalion (Frontiersmen)
Formed in London on 12 February 1915 by the Legion of Frontiersmen.
10 April 195 : embarked at Plymouth for East Africa, arriving Mombasa 4 May 1915.
Left for England at end of May 1917. Disbanded at Putney on 29 June 1918.

26th (Service) Battalion (Bankers)
Formed in London on 17 July 1915 by the Lord Mayor and City of London, composed in the main of former bank clerks and accountants.
November 1915 : came under command of 124th Brigade, 41st Division.
Landed in France on 4 May 1916.
Moved with the Division to Italy in November 1917 but returned to France March 1918.

27th (Reserve) Battalion
Formed in Horsham in August 1915 as a Reserve battalion, from depot companies of 17th, 22nd and 32nd Bns.
1 September 1916 : converted into 103rd Training Reserve Battalion in 24th Reserve Brigade.

28th and 29th (Reserve) Battalions
Formed in Epsom in August 1915 as Reserve battalions, from depot companies of the four Public Schools Bns.
1 September 1916 : converted into 104th and 105th Training Reserve Battalions in 24th Reserve Brigade.

30th and 31st (Reserve) Battalions
Formed in Romford and Colchester in August and September 1915 as Reserve battalions, from depot companies of 10th, 23rd, 24th and 26th Bns.
1 September 1916 : converted into 106th and 107th Training Reserve Battalions in 24th Reserve Brigade.

32nd (Service) Battalion (East Ham)
Formed in London on 18 October 1915 by the Mayor and Borough of East Ham.
December 1915 : came under command of 124th Brigade, 41st Division.
Landed in France on 5 May 1916.
Moved with the Division to Italy in November 1917 but returned to France March 1918.
Disbanded in France on 18 March 1918.

38th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Plymouth on 20 January 1918 from Jewish volunteers.
5 February 1918 left England, arriving Egypt in March 1918.
11 June 1918 : attached to 31st Brigade, 10th (Irish) Division.
25 July 1918 : detached from Brigade. During September 1918, attached to Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division.

39th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Plymouth on 21 January 1918 from Jewish volunteers.
Moved to Egypt in April 1918.
In september 1918 was with 38th Battalion in Chaytor's Force.

40th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Plymouth in late January 1918 from Jewish volunteers.
Moved to Egypt in August 1918.

41st and 42nd (Reserve) Battalions
Formed at Plymouth to provide drafts for the four Jewish Battalions.
1 September 1916 : absorbed into Training Reserve Battalions in 19th Reserve Brigade.

Other Battalions

33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th and 37th (Labour) Battalions
Formed at Seaford (33rd) and Falmer (34th to 37th) in May and June 1916. 35th landed in France on 8 June and moved to Rouen, where it was engaged in unloading from ships docked there. In April 1917 these battalions became the 99th to 108th Labour Companies, Labour Corps.

38th to 42nd (Labour) Battalions
These were units manned by Jewish soldiers.

  • 38th formed at Plymouth in September 1917. It sailed from Southampton on 5 February 1918, landing at Alexandria in Egypt on 1 March 1918. It was also known as the "1st Judeans".
  • 39th formed at Plymouth on 21 January 1918. It sailed from Southampton on 13 April 1918, landing at Alexandria in Egypt on 27 April 1918. On 11 July 1918, 673 local and Palestinian recruits joined the battalion. Five days later 295 American Jews joined it.
  • 40th was retitled from 42nd (Reserve) Battalion on 12 July 1918 and went to Egypt on 15 August 1918, where it supplied drafts for 38 and 39th Battalions. OPn 18 September 1918 a Palestinian detachment joined. On 24 October 1918 71 men went as a draft to 38th Battalion: they had previously been in the American and Russian armies.
  • 41st Bn was never formed.
  • 42nd (Reserve) Battalion was formed from the Reserve Company of 38th Battalion on its departure for Egypt and was retitled 40th (Service) Battalion as shown above.
  • Those men remaining at Plymouth became the Jewish Depot.

43rd and 44th (Garrison) Battalions
Formed in France in May and September 1918 from Garrison Guard Companies, for duty at the five Army HQ's. Manned by troops who had been rated as medically unfit for front line duty.

45th and 46th (Service) Battalions
Formed in London in April 1919 and served in North Russia until disbanded in December 1919.

51st (Graduated) Battalion
Up to 26 October 1917, this was known as 259th Graduated Battalion and had no regimental affiliation. Before that it had been 106th Battalion of the Training Reserve and up to September 1916 had been the 30th (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. A training unit based at Ipswich, it was part of 215th Brigade in 72nd Division. In March 1918 when 72nd Division was broken up it went to 204th Brigade of 68th Division at Newmarket. By June 1918 it had moved to Henham Park near Southwold.

52nd (Graduated) Battalion
Up to 27 October 1917, this was known as 265th Graduated Battalion and had no regimental affiliation. Before that it had been 107th Battalion of the Training Reserve and up to September 1916 had been the 31st (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. A training unit based at Ipswich, it was part of 217th Brigade in 72nd Division. In March 1918 when 72nd Division was broken up it went to 204th Brigade of 68th Division at Newmarket.

53rd (Young Soldier) Battalion
Up to 27 October 1917, this was known as 104th Young Soldier Battalion and had no regimental affiliation. Before that it had been 28th (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. A basic recruit training unit based at Catterick, it joined 2nd Reserve Brigade and moved to Cannock Chase. In October 1918 it moved to Clipstone Camp in Nottinghamshire.